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Three days after Shinzo Abe’s murder, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed to honor his legacy by taking up a cause that had eluded the late former leader: Revising the country’s pacifist Constitution. Minutes later, Kishida was explaining how hard that might be.

Successive leaders, including Abe, have failed to overcome the legal and political hurdles required to amend the founding document and legitimize the existence of Japan’s military. Any change to the document, which was drafted by the United States during its postwar occupation, is likely years away, even though pro-revisionists secured enough seats in the July 10 Upper House election to start the process.

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